Electromagnet hoisting Steel – Heavy-lift Tower Crane (Radio Control)


The Electromagnet is now active on my custom built Tower Crane. RCSparks Mechanic David Jr and his Dad came up with the electromagnet idea for the crane several months ago – and I have been waiting to get it out and try it! It’s all about the Heavy Lift Steel!!

An electromagnet is a type of magnet in which the magnetic field is produced by electric current. The magnetic field disappears when the current is turned off. Electromagnets are widely used as components of other electrical devices, such as motors, generators, relays, loudspeakers, hard disks, MRI machines, scientific instruments, and magnetic separation equipment, as well as being employed as industrial lifting electromagnets for picking up and moving heavy iron objects like scrap iron.

An electric current flowing in a wire creates a magnetic field around the wire, due to Ampere’s law. To concentrate the magnetic field, in an electromagnet the wire is wound into a coil with many turns of wire lying side by side. The magnetic field of all the turns of wire passes through the center of the coil, creating a strong magnetic field there.

A coil forming the shape of a straight tube (a helix) is called a solenoid. Much stronger magnetic fields can be produced if a “core” of ferromagnetic material, such as soft iron, is placed inside the coil.

The material of the core of the magnet (usually iron) is composed of small regions called magnetic domains that act like tiny magnets (see ferromagnetism). Before the current in the electromagnet is turned on, the domains in the iron core point in random directions, so their tiny magnetic fields cancel each other out, and the iron has no large scale magnetic field. When a current is passed through the wire wrapped around the iron, its magnetic field penetrates the iron, and causes the domains to turn, aligning parallel to the magnetic field, so their tiny magnetic fields add to the wire’s field, creating a large magnetic field that extends into the space around the magnet. The larger the current passed through the wire coil, the more the domains align, and the stronger the magnetic field is. Finally all the domains are lined up, and further increases in current only cause slight increases in the magnetic field: this phenomenon is called saturation.